There is no doubt about the fact that the field of contact center software solutions has undergone a massive change in the last few years. Earlier on, the contact center reps were limited to only a few channels of communication, namely the telephone. The customers would call up the call center and they would be required to provide solutions. While that was fine, there was a need for improved communication with the passage of time. The customers are becoming tech savvy with each passing day. Even youngsters and teenagers have easy access to smartphones and the internet. Therefore, it was important for these call centers to stay up to date with these latest trends. Gradually, technology made it possible to incorporate a number of channels into their operations.
Today, we have something called “Conversational Commerce”. As the name suggests, this allows you to make use of a number of channels when it comes to communicating with customers. Using contact center software that promotes conversational commerce basically allows you to utilize some natural language interfaces like chat or messaging to deal with customers. When you visit certain websites, you must have come across the live chat option. If you opt for it, you’ll be instantly connected to a company rep through live chat and you can clarify your doubts and queries there.
Naturally, conversational commerce has taken the entire industry by storm. That’s mainly because customers today would rather talk to you over chat or message (which hardly takes up your valuable time) instead of calling you up or waiting for an agent to become available to tend to their calls. But there’s one thing you have to remember. Conversational commerce, as a field, is relatively new. While some companies have implemented it and even benefited from it, some companies are still hesitating and you could very well be one of them. Thus, you need to have a clear idea of what conversational commerce is, how to implement it or the various channels that you have, before you take the plunge.
Why should you go for “Conversational Commerce”?
I. Conversational commerce makes searching for products much easier. For example, if you are running an ecommerce company, then you should make it easy for your customers to navigate between different pages and products. Unless your customers find it easy to search for your products, they might as well sign out. This contact center management software basically provides you with an interface that is easy to use. Conversational commerce basically allows for chat bots, who may further lead your customers to more and more products. If your customers take the help of chat bots for search, that obviously leads to an increase in sales.
II. Selling your products online is all about targeted marketing. This phrase must be pretty familiar to most of you. You see, your customers want personalized outbound contact center software solutions. And the best part is, your chat bots are capable of just that. For instance, say, your customers are shopping online and they ask your chat bots for a bit of advice. Then your chat bots can provide personalized recommendations to your customers. This is target marketing at its best!
III. Virtual assistants are a big deal today! People today love having a virtual assistant who can help them out with the simplest things. Some common examples of virtual assistants would be your Siri, Cortana, Facebook M and so on. The presence of such virtual assistants to help your customers would certainly make the whole thing an enjoyable, and not to mention, a thrilling experience for your customers. Using virtual assistants to guide your customers would only lead to an increase in your sales as well!
IV. Conversational commerce paves the way for easier payments. This is the part that most customers are worried about, especially if they are paying online. Are they doing it right? What to do in case they make a mistake? These are some of the common problems customers come up with. As a matter of fact, some customers might find the whole payment procedure too complicated to figure out. With this customer contact center software, customers can easily resort to these chat bots in case they need help during payment. They could have these virtual guides help them through the entire process!
V. All in all, conversational commerce provides for a seamless experience. When customers are buying your products online, they expect nothing less than a smooth, flawless shopping experience- one they can come back to over and over again. If you manage to provide that, then congratulations, for you have won over their loyalty. At present, conversational commerce can help provide that almost picture perfect experience for customers. That not only satisfies your existing customers, but also wins over new ones. And we all know what that leads to!
The various aspects of conversational commerce
I. We all know that companies use messages to send us notifications. It could include notifications of a massive sale, or a change in prices, or when your flight gets cancelled or delayed. Now these notifications are usually in the form of text messages or alerts. But conversational commerce allows for advanced notifications. Such notifications basically take the whole thing one step further. They would include other elements as well, like multimedia, directions, maps and so on. These messages strike up a conversation and definitely grab the attention of customers.
II. Most of the best contact center software that you see today encourages the use of bots. Now contrary to popular belief, bots actually have been around for a while. These bot interfaces happen to be a favourite amongst designers and other tech enthusiasts. Chat bots are now increasingly being used in the field of ecommerce. It entails having a two way conversation with none other than a computer that is programmed to do so. So if a customer runs into problems while shopping online, he or she can have a conversation with the chat bot available about it! How cool is that?!
III. We all know what chat is all about. Two people having a conversation through the internet. But developers have gone the extra mile to make it even better. How cool would it be if your chat could function like an application? We all love our apps, don’t we? We all have a ton of apps that we use on a daily basis. To make the chat more enhanced and make it even more functional, conversational commerce lets you use apps in chat.
IV. Speaking of the different branches or aspects of conversational commerce, how can we miss out on the good ol’ chat? After all, that is how it all started. No one needs explanation as to what chat is all about. But the best part about the ordinary chat is that it eliminates the hassle of holding time or making the customer on wait. Also, you can deal with multiple customers at the same time. There is no denying the fact that live chat forms the very basis of conversational commerce.
V. Messaging apps have been used to make shopping all the more enjoyable. Imagine the following situation. You are browsing through the catalogue on an ecommerce site and you come across a product that you genuinely like. But you’re not entirely sure about it and would like some advice about it. You can just choose to use the messaging app available and then have a detailed conversation about the product, its price and even get some recommendations. Talk about a seamless experience!
5 essential channels of conversational commerce
Now that you basically know what conversational commerce is, you need to know about its five essential channels:
I. You cannot have conversational commerce without messaging apps. As research shows, these messaging apps happen to be the most integral aspect of conversational commerce. Facebook messenger and WhatsApp are two of the most popular platforms that are used. These platforms, along with the other ones in the market, are easy to use and compatible with almost all devices. Naturally, customers are pretty comfortable using these platforms to communicate with sales or customer care reps.
II. SMS still remains an integral part of conversational commerce despite the prevalence of various instant messaging or chat apps. As a matter of fact, most companies already use SMS to communicate with customers, send them notifications or even alerts. Turns out, SMS is a great way for customer engagement and even makes the whole thing all the more enjoyable.
III. Intelligent assistants are a must for a fully functioning conversational commerce. We have already discussed the benefits of having virtual assistants to help your customers. The presence of such assistants will make the whole experience a more enjoyable one for your customers and they are bound to keep coming back.
IV. You must have provisions for live chat. For instance, if you have a shopping app for your customers, make sure you incorporate the chat option into the app. That allows your customer to contact you via chat if the need arises without having to call you up. It eradicates the holding time entirely and makes sure your customers don’t leave frustrated. Also, the customers can contact you while shopping. So if they aren’t sure of the payment procedure, the live chat executive online can guide them through it.
V. Despite all the developments that have taken place, you still cannot ignore the value of traditional voice. And that is why we have included it in the five essential channels of conversational commerce. Your customers need to know that they have the option of calling you up and speaking to you if the need arises- they need to know that you are just one phone call away. Because, not all your customers are going to be tech savvy, not all will be accustomed to using Facebook messenger or WhatsApp. You definitely need to take that into account and make provisions for them.
The case study
The fifteen pointers mentioned above tell you about the benefits of conversational commerce and its various branches or aspects. Suffice to say, you have a clear idea of how conversational commerce can be implemented into your operations. But given the fact that it is still in the initial phases of expansion, you might have certain qualms about it. That’s precisely why we have provided you with a case study that tells you exactly how conversational commerce can benefit your business. Such contact center CRM software can do wonders for your business. Let’s see how.
You must all be pretty familiar with the brand name of Hyatt. The company runs one of the largest hotel chains around. To say that they have a huge customer base would be an understatement. But how has Hyatt managed to maintain the reputation they have or the loyalty of the customers? The answer is simple. By providing the best possible customer care and upgrading their customer care system at regular intervals. In 2011, Hyatt introduced the conversational IVR system into their operations. They updated their system from ordinary customer care to a system which provides intelligent assistance to their customers. As expected, this had a tremendous impact on their business and tilted the scales in their favor. Their sales went through the roof, they were flooded with positive feedback and when it comes to customer loyalty, well, you already know the answer.
The final outcome: the problem and the solution
Hyatt, as an international brand, is known for providing impeccable hosting services, exceptional amenities, fine dining by top ranked restaurants and so on. The efficiency of services that are associated with the brand must be reflected in each and every field including customer care.
• Hyatt has hotels in over 45 countries. That means the reception handles at least 7 million calls each year. There are hundreds of new reservations, cancellations and even simple queries about room tariffs and other facilities each day. Thus, it was important to come up with an IVR system which grasped the demand and handled the supply accordingly.
• The main reason for upgrading their existing software for contact center was to provide a better experience for the customers. Targeted marketing was on their mind, and so were the complexity of operations. Taking both into consideration, it was important to get an IVR that allowed for smooth functioning of both.
• The IVR system that they got comes under the spectrum of conversational commerce. It automates some of the reservation process, including the cancellation. It allows the customer to use their own natural language interface, while at the same time automating some of these simple services.
• Also, the new system included automated feedback software. As soon as customers checked out, they could complete a brief survey on their phones. The feedback would be recorded automatically and that would be processed instantly as well.
• Virtual assistants were also included as part of the reservation process to help out the customers.
• The new system ended up saving 94% on automated interactions, 33% on cost per call and also improved and enhanced sales efficiency.
• It also became easier to meet the expectations customers had and made it possible to tend to each customer with the same level of dedication and commitment.
Conversational commerce has altered the business world for the better. Don’t you think it is time for you to join the race too? So come on, give it a try today!
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